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Florida vs Georgia Headed to
Supreme Court

The decades-long fight over water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin has finally reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

In this case, Florida argues that Georgia consumes too much water in the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers to the detriment of the Apalachicola Bay oyster fisheries and economy, whereas Georgia argues that Florida receives sufficient water and any harm to Florida’s fisheries is due to resource mismanagement.

Without a compromise between the states, the Court’s appointed Special Master may recommend how much Chattahoochee and Flint River water Georgia can use and how much must be left to flow across the Florida line.

On October 31, the ‘Halloween Trial’ will kick-off in a Maine court room. CRK staff will attend portions of the trial; follow us on Twitter for trial updates!

UPDATE: On Friday, October 21, three river groups from Georgia and Alabama filed an amicus curiaea (“friend of the court”) brief in the original action before the United States Supreme Court known as Florida v. Georgia.

The river groups submitted the brief to contextualize the scope of the Special Master’s authority under existing Supreme Court precedent and federal law to consider not only economic factors, but also vital cultural and ecological factors at stake in this allocation of ACF water usage.  The river groups’ intention is to bring to light before Court-appointed Special Master, the Honorable Ralph I. Lancaster, those areas of the law that will assist him in his decisionmaking and ensure a result which benefits all who depend on the ACF watershed rather than a select few water users.

The river groups make two main points:

  1. It is within the Court’s power under the law to provide relief with consideration for the noneconomic benefits of cultural and ecological services provided by the ACF river system; and
  2. There are many options for relief that will simultaneously benefit Georgians, Alabamans, Floridians, and the wildlife that depends on the ACF river system as allocation decisions are made.

Read more about this story here.

UPDATE: U.S. Drought Monitor Declares Extreme to Exceptional Drought for most of NW Georgia

UPDATE: On November 17, 2016, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) issue a release declaring a Level 2 Drought Response that limits outdoor watering to an odd/even (based on house numbers) schedule.

Most of northwest Georgia is under an extreme or exceptional drought. On September 9, 2016, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) issued a release declaring a Level 1 Drought Response that encourages distribution of water conservation literature as well as restricted outdoor water use.  With winter fast approaching, little more is expected to be done by the state to alleviate the effects of the drought.  

Below average rainfall is expected throughout most of the state for the remaining months of the year.  Here are three tips on ways you can save water now for use later:

  1. Fix leaks- fixing toilet leaks will save 73,000 gallons PER toilet annually
  2. Update fixtures- replace pre-1994 toilets with low-flow models to save 6,900 galls PER person PER toilet
  3. Update appliances- replacing pre-1993 clothes washing machine with a WaterSense model will save 3450 gallons at 4 loads PER week

For more information, use our No Time To Waste guide to become more water smart, energy smart and garden smart!

Neighborhood Water Watch Reaches 10,000 Samples in 2016!

10,000 Samples!!! Neighborhood Water Watch is on fire!

This sample and 9,999 samples like it have helped us find and stop over 30 sources of pollution through Neighborhood Water Watch!! Thanks to volunteers like YOU, E.coli levels have dropped in the river!! Life is good; get out and enjoy what the river has to offer!  If you are interested in sampling in your neighborhood waterway, contact Mike Meyer to get started!

Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin Named #1 “Most Endangered”

American Rivers announced today its annual list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®, naming the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin in Alabama, Florida and Georgia the Most Endangered in the country. Outdated water management and rising demand have put the basin at a breaking point.

The water conflict that has gripped the region for almost three decades has come to a head with Florida’s U.S. Supreme Court suit against Georgia and the latest attempt by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to update its protocols of managing the basin.

We are calling on the governors of Alabama, Florida and Georgia to swiftly act to form a transparent, water-sharing agreement that protects the rivers, and on the USACE to significantly improve water management to sustain river health.

The annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® report is a list of rivers at a crossroads, where key decisions in the coming months will determine the rivers’ fates. Rivers are chosen for the list based on the following criteria: 1) The magnitude of the threat, 2) A critical decision-point in the coming year and 3) The significance of the river to people and nature.

CRK has long worked to find an equitable solution to the tri-state water conflict and will continue to advocate for solutions to ensure that current and future generations have enough clean water. Our work in this area includes:

Read more about this development in the AJC here >>


Community Spotlight

The classically influenced American progressive rock band Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns to Atlanta on Wednesday, December 14 at the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth.  TSO is a highly creative team of talented musicians who are best known for their live performances, featuring elaborate light shows, pyrotechnics and special effects.

The annual TSO show is one that CRK looks forward to year after year. Did you know that millions of dollars of the band’s proceeds have been donated to local and national charity organizations? Trans-Siberian Orchestra remarkably donates one dollar (or more) for every ticket sold to a charity of choice in the hosting city at each performance. Through our partnership with 97.1 The River, over the past three years TSO has donated over $26,000 towards CRK’s water protection efforts. We hope to see our members and supports at the show!